Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

US imposes sanctions on Venezuela Supreme Court


Trump said they discussed Venezuela.

In addition, Diosdado Cablello, former speaker of Venezuela's National Assembly, on his popular TV program, compared opposition marches with Kristallnacht, the vicious pogroms against Jews, Jewish-owned businesses, and synagogues unleashed by the Nazis in 1938.

"The Venezuelan people are suffering from a collapsing economy brought about by their government's mismanagement and corruption". The court's constitutional chamber declared null and void eight National Assembly laws between January and October 2016, after just one such ruling in the previous 200 years, legal experts say.

"By imposing these targeted sanctions, the United States is supporting the Venezuelan people in their efforts to protect and advance democratic governance in their country", he said. The Trump administration has imposed economic sanctions on members of the country's Supreme Court. Hopefully that will change and they can use those assets for the good.

Maduro spoke on state television for some two hours on Thursday soon after the sanctions were confirmed but made no mention of them.

During a press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Washington, D.C., Trump said that the US was working with Colombia and other allies to do what is necessary to resolve the situation in Venezuela.

US President Donald Trump has called the situation in Venezuela "a mess" and his aides have threatened tougher measures against Caracas.

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Senator Ted Cruz was among the first US lawmakers to react to news of the sanctions.

In March 2015, former President Barack Obama expanded US sanctions against Venezuelan officials and declared worsening relations with the South American nation to be a national emergency. The Washington-based Organization of American States is holding a rare foreign ministers council session on the troubled South American nation later this month.

In issuing its sanctions ruling, the U.S. Treasury Department cited several court rulings since the opposition gained control of congress. In February, the US announced it was freezing the assets of Vice President Tareck El Aissami, accusing him of playing a major role in global drug trafficking.

His government has also denied the accusations made by the USA government and called them a pretext for trying to overthrow Maduro. Past sanctions have denied members of the Venezuelan government travel visas and frozen their USA bank accounts, properties and corporate entities.

In March, the court explicitly stated it was assuming the congress' role in a ruling authorizing Maduro to create oil joint ventures without the previously mandated congressional approval.

The charge stems from vote-buying accusations against three lawmakers from southern Amazonas state. Even though they no longer sit in Congress, the court said opposition leaders had not handled their case legally. That move was dubbed a coup by many inside and outside Venezuela and was reversed a few days later after large protests.

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